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Five food TV recommendations, plus a roundup of the week’s food-entertainment news

This post originally appeared on May 25, 2018, in “Eat, Drink, Watch” — the weekly newsletter for people who want to order takeout and watch TV. Browse the archives and subscribe now.

If you’re reading these words, it means that Memorial Day weekend has officially begun. Congratulations: You made it that time of year that’s full of picnics, backyard barbecues, and low-key luxurious afternoons when you can marathon-watch your favorite TV shows in the air-conditioned splendor of your living room. Here are some TV recommendations for the long weekend, as well as a roundup of the week’s food-related entertainment news.

Take a ‘chef’s flight’ through American cuisine
American Masters/Amazon Video

If you’re looking for something fun, informative, and exceedingly chill to watch this weekend, the “Chef’s Flight” series of PBS’s American Masters is just what the doctor ordered. Each hour-long episode profiles a chef who changed the American culinary landscape, and taken together, these three documentaries offer a comprehensive look at the major trends that shaped the last 60 years of dining.

“James Beard: America’s First Foodie” chronicles the colorful life...

Several key members of the team are also fleeing their restaurants

The bi-costal restaurant empire built by chef April Bloomfield and restaurateur Ken Friedman is starting to crumble in the wake of multiple sexual harassment allegations that were recently lodged against Friedman by former employees of their group.

As the Spotted Pig’s chef and restaurateur enter the final negotiations to dissolve their partnership, the Times reports that they have lost their six-year-old Mexican restaurant Salvation Taco in Manhattan’s Pod Hotel, which is now being operated by the team that runs the hotel. Several months before the sexual harassment allegations, Friedman and Bloomfield also closed Salvation Taco’s sibling establishment, Salvation Burger, in another Pod-owned hotel several blocks away.

As Kim Severson and Julia Moskin note, there have been several major shifts at the duo’s other, more popular restaurants across the country, and more changes are likely on the way. After a failed attempt at buying the restaurant from Friedman and Bloomfield, the chef at Tosca Cafe in San Francisco, Josh Even, left earlier this month along with general manager Dana Katzakian. The duo’s new LA venture, the Hearth and Hound, recently lost its head chef, pastry chef, and wine director. And two months ago, Erika Nakamura and Jocelyn Guest, the star butchers behind the team’s NYC butcher shop/cafe White Gold, also left...

The closures come days after ‘60 Minutes’ presented new sexual misconduct allegations against the disgraced chef

Three of Mario Batali’s Las Vegas restaurants are set to close, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. B&B Hospitality informed employees of Carnevino Italian Steakhouse, B&B Ristorante, and Otto Enoteca e Pizzeria that the restaurants will permanently shutter on July 27. All three high-profile restaurants are located on the Las Vegas Strip, in the Venetian and Palazzo resorts, and had been open for more than a decade: Carnevino celebrated its 10-year anniversary last year with a splashy dinner series.

The unexpected announcement comes just days after 60 Minutes presented new allegations that Batali drugged and sexually assaulted a woman at New York City restaurant the Spotted Pig, and that Batali is under criminal investigation by the NYPD. In December 2017, following the first public allegations of sexual misconduct, Batali “stepped down” from operations at Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group; a few weeks later, the group announced plans to change its name to simply B&B Hospitality. B&B has recently said the chef/co-owner would divest from the group entirely by July 1.

The Las Vegas announcement marks the first time a Batali restaurant will close seemingly as a result of the misconduct allegations. The closures will affect approximately 298 employees, according to B&B Hospitality partner Joe Bastianich, who informed employees in a letter.

“These restaurants have continued to succeed, and they are...

Thursday’s episode of the Tonight Show also featured a burger-centric segment with Cate Blanchett

The Platinum Prince himself, Guy Fieri, stopped by the Tonight Show on Thursday to school Jimmy Fallon on the proper way to eat a hamburger.

In the clip above, Fieri employs a technique called “the Hunch” which involves removing the toothpick that holds everything together, pushing down on the top party of the burger, and putting both hands underneath to “cradle” the buns before lifting the meat up to your face. After Jimmy takes a crack at the Hunch, the celebrity chef and late-night host head out into the studio audience — which is entirely full of service men and women — to hand the rest of the monster burger off to a hungry Marine.

Is there anything more American than Guy Fieri giving a gargantuan pulled pork burger to a Marine at the kick-off of Memorial Day weekend? Probably not.

In another segment of the show, Fieri also reveals that he’s working on a “where are they now” special tied to Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives that will track how restaurants that have been featured on his hit Food Network series have grown since he visited them. It’s going to be called Triple D Nation.

And earlier in the night, Oceans 8 star Cate Blanchett orchestrated a blind burger taste test for Fallon involving an egg-topped Australian-style burger and a vegetarian creation from...

A new ruling makes labor violations harder to police

• A recent Supreme Court decision means employees, including restaurant workers, bound by certain types of arbitration agreements are not allowed to join class-action lawsuits or group arbitration proceedings.

• Arbitration agreements bar employees’ access to courts, whether individually or as a class.

• If restaurants violate wage or other labor laws, employees will only be able to bring claims up individually, in arbitration.

• This case is seen as a victory for employers because it could significantly reduce the number of claims brought against them, and because historically, cases in arbitration favor the employer over the employee.

• As a result of this decision, federal and state wage and hour laws may become underenforced.

Violations related to unpaid wages, overtime, or tip theft are rampant in the restaurant industry, which is also plagued by persistently low pay. Restaurant staffers have had few resources to hold their employers accountable when employers break the law: They could file complaints with a state Attorney General or government agency like the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which could choose to pursue legal action on behalf of employees; they could pay for a lawyer to sue the company or management directly (an expensive and risky option); or they could band together in a class-action suit or group arbitration against an employer or parent company.

Class actions have historically held more weight...

Plus, David Chang filmed a Reddit AMA while driving a sports car, and more food news

Who gave us permission? New episodes June 15— Queer Eye (@QueerEye) May 24, 2018

Don’t waste a single layover on a sad sandwich

The land of airport food has always been rife with bad chain fare. But thanks to some enlightened planning, better and better options are starting to infiltrate airports across North America. There’s One Flew South, Atlanta’s destination airport restaurant. Newark’s 2017 revamp brought us the Tsukiji Fishroom, with fish flown in straight from Tokyo by United Airlines. In Dallas, there’s no lack of great barbecue — plus, enjoy the multi-million dollar public art installations while walking through the terminals. And, this summer expect an exciting collaboration between celebrity chefs of SF’s Tartine Manufatory, Cala, and Kin Khao brought to SFO’s International Terminal.

Here now, a guide to the good, the bad, and the ugly of airport dining across North America. Click on the city of interest below for detailed terminal-by-terminal information, updated just in time for the busy travel season.

Dallas Fort Worth Image Gallery

The books from James Beard Award winners, buzzy chefs, and acclaimed restaurants you’ve been wanting to buy

Memorial Day weekend is here, marking the unofficial start of summer and of picnic and barbecue season. The long weekend is the perfect opportunity to mess around in the kitchen for a few hours — and thanks to the holiday, many of the most exciting and buzzed-about cookbooks of spring 2018 (including several James Beard winners) are on sale.

From Southern home cooking to Champagne wines, there’s a wide range of cuisines to choose from with these books. Particularly noteworthy is Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking, an Amazon bestseller and James Beard winner, on sale for less than $20 to help take your cookout game to the next level.

Each of the books listed below is on sale at Amazon for at least 30 percent off. Enjoy the long weekend...

You Can Do This recreates a tricky treat made from mung beans

Like me, I’m sure plenty of you have seen the almost four minute long YouTube video of xoi chien phong — fried sticky rice ball — being made on a Vietnamese street corner. I was amazed at how just a couple simple ingredients were turning into a giant ball of puffed up rice right before my eyes, which very quickly and very naturally turned into my need to recreate it. For the task of deeming whether of not we can do this, I’m using sticky rice, split mung beans, coconut milk, and sugar.

Getting that mixture to yield the perfect dough is of course a key step, but really the big hurdle here is what happens once we put the dough in hot oil — which is what is supposed to make our hockey puck-sized piece of dough expand.

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Don’t waste a single layover on a sad sandwich

The land of airport food has always been rife with bad chain fare. But thanks to some enlightened planning, better and better options are starting to infiltrate airports across North America. There’s One Flew South, Atlanta’s destination airport restaurant. Newark’s 2017 revamp brought us the Tsukiji Fishroom, with fish flown in straight from Tokyo by United Airlines. In Dallas, there’s no lack of great barbecue — plus, enjoy the multi-million dollar public art installations while walking through the terminals. And, this summer expect an exciting collaboration between celebrity chefs of SF’s Tartine Manufatory, Cala, and Kin Khao brought to SFO’s International Terminal.

Here now, a guide to the good, the bad, and the ugly of airport dining across North America. Click on the city of interest below for detailed terminal-by-terminal information, updated just in time for the busy travel season.

Dallas Fort Worth Image Gallery

Burrito fans will need to think ahead and order online or with the app to satisfy their cravings

Chipotle, the burrito chain that is still attempting to recover from a series of foodborne-illness disasters in 2015 and ’16, is adding drive-thru lanes to some new locations, reports CNBC. It’s latest move by new chief executive officer Brian Niccol, the former Taco Bell CEO who took over for embattled founder Steve Ellis in February.

At first blush, this may appear to be Niccol, a former fast-food executive, attempting to add a little of the fast-food business model to a brand that has long resisted such notions. However, Chipotle’s drive-thrus differ from those used by chains such as Taco Bell and McDonald’s. Customers do not place orders on site, but instead will pick up food that has been preordered via the company’s mobile app or website, according to CNBC. One that order is placed, the diner receives a “pick-up time” during which they’re welcome to grab their food at the mobile drive-thru.

Executives announced plans to test a drive-thru in an earnings call last year, and the first — known as a “mobile drive-thru pick-up” lane in Chipotle-speak — showed up at a location near Columbus, Ohio. The service is currently on offer at five locations in Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, and Massachusetts. There’s no word on a potential national rollout at all of Chipotle’s 2,500-plus restaurants, but CNBC...

From New Orleans sno-balls to Filipino halo-halo, icy desserts are beloved across the globe

One of the world’s oldest desserts is suddenly everywhere. Chef Sota Atsumi of Paris’s iconic Clown Bar recently served a foie gras kakigori, or Japanese-style shaved ice at a menu preview for his highly anticipated forthcoming restaurant, Maison. At the Lobster Club in New York City, pastry chef Stephanie Prida serves a dolled-up kakigori dressed with blood orange in three forms: as a puree, candied zest, and a flavored creme anglaise. On the west coast, kakigori is also on the menu at chef David Chang’s white-hot new LA restaurant, Majordomo; the current version is flavored with horchata. For her forthcoming restaurant Nightshade, chef Mei Lin plans to serve kakigori, and is playing around with different shapes of ice, which, when shaved, result in different textures.

But the snow-like Japanese dessert is just one of shave ice’s many iterations. The frozen dessert — in which blocks of ice are shaved into snow-like mounds, thin, feather-like shards, or curly swirls — is particularly popular in Asian countries, where it can be found in different forms. It’s also popular in other parts of the globe, including but not limited to Mexico, South America, the Middle East, and of course, the United States. While the names, flavors, and forms might differ from country to country, shave ice is typically a street food,...

Plus, Starbucks previews its forthcoming anti-bias training, and more food news

The show’s most high-profile co-host, Mario Batali, was fired following sexual misconduct allegations in 2017

The next season of The Chew will be its last. ABC confirmed today that it’s canceling the celebrity chef-hosted daytime talk show, Deadline reports.

The Emmy Award-winning program is presently hosted by chefs Michael Symon, Carla Hall, fashion consultant Clinton Kelly, and, until recently, chef Mario Batali. Batali was suspended and ultimately fired from the show in December amid widespread reports of the chef’s alleged sexual misconduct that spanned two decades. (In a segment that acknowledged Batali’s suspension, Symon, Hall, and Kelly released a group statement saying “Our commitment to our viewers remains the same — to deliver the entertaining show that you’ve come to expect.”) Batali is currently the subject of a criminal investigation led by the New York Police Department into the misconduct allegations lodged by several employees who worked at the Spotted Pig.

Just last week, co-host Carla Hall addressed the vacant co-host slot left by Batali, stating that The Chew had no plans to replace him, and that the remaining hosts had “become closer” since the incident.

A representative for ABC called the cancellation a “business decision.” Recent ratings suggest that despite the chef’s firing, he continued to have a negative impact on The Chew’s viewership. During the most recent season, the number of women viewers ages 18-49 plummeted by 17 percent, making it...

In a new filing with the EEOC, 10 workers, all women of color, say they were harassed by managers and co-workers

Last year, while working at a New Orleans McDonald’s, Tanya Harrel experienced sexual harassment twice in the span of a single month.

First it was the male coworker with whom she had thought she had a platonic friendship. That feeling ended we he started groping her against her will, often when she was washing dishes and there were no cameras keeping watch. “He actually came onto me very aggressively,” Harrel told Eater. “He would grab my breasts and other private parts.” She tried to escape the problem by avoiding him, but he kept repeating the behavior.

Harrel says she reported the harassment to two different managers, one male and one female. The male supervisor told her he thought she was giving the coworker “sex appeal,” egging him on. The female supervisor also didn’t believe her, pointing to the fact that Harrel and the harasser had exchanged phone numbers.

“I got rejected twice,” she says, which left her feeling “unprotected and unsafe.” And she wasn’t sure what to do next. “After that, I didn’t know who else to go to, who else to talk to about it.” She took a few days off of work, and by the time she came back, the coworker had quit.

Then, one day, a different male...

Dining on a Dime heads to Nonna Betta to sample the Jewish-Roman staple

Rome’s old Jewish Quarter is where many of the city’s culinary traditions originated — most of them during the hundreds of years of oppression the local Jewish population experienced starting in the 1500s — before those dishes made it into the city’s mainstream eating culture.

Fried artichokes are the prime example, known locally and lovingly as carciofi alla Giudia (Jewish-style artichoke). It all started with frying simple ingredients like artichokes and zucchini to impart maximum flavor, as life in the ghetto did not afford luxuries like spices. I’m sampling the fried artichokes at Nonna Betta, a restaurant located in the old ghetto not far from the Tiber River. Nonna Betta specializes in Roman specialties made kosher, and is preparing artichokes that are golden brown and crispy on the outside, and moist and tender inside. They’re a perfect example of fresh, seasonal Roman eating.

Click for more episodes of Dining on a Dime | Subscribe to Eater on YouTube

Kombucha’s unlikely rise from Soviet elixir to modern-day miracle drink

In May of 1995, Ruth Patras realized that something was wrong with her 5-week-old daughter, Ciara. Initially happy and healthy, about a month after Ciara was born, the whites of her eyes started to turn yellow. Over the next few days, the color deepened, and her appetite diminished. Patras took Ciara to her pediatrician, who sent the family to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Tests revealed that Ciara had biliary atresias, a rare liver disease in which the ducts that pass bile from the liver to the gallbladder and the first section of the small intestine become blocked. Bile serves two functions in the body, helping to digest fat and carry waste out of the liver. When trapped, the excess bile damages liver cells, eventually leading to liver failure.

Doctors told Patras that the only hope for Ciara was a complex surgery known as the Kasai procedure, in which the gallbladder and bile ducts are removed and the liver is connected directly to the small intestine. The Kasai procedure is hardly a cure, though: It’s only successful 30 to 50 percent of the time, and when it fails, patients need a liver transplant as early as age 1 or 2; even when it works, around three-quarters of patients still require a liver transplant by their 20th birthday.

After the procedure, doctors explained, the rest was up to Ciara’s immune system. Hearing...

Last week’s collapse of the bill surprised many, but it’s too soon to declare it a win

This story originally appeared on Civil Eats.

• Congress’s Farm Bill, meant to replace the one set to expire in September 2018, did not have enough votes to pass last week. It included language that would have cut programs supporting environmental conservation efforts and impose new requirements on recipients of SNAP benefits (food stamps).

• Many progressives viewed the failure as a win for their causes, but a second vote is set for next month — suggesting that Republicans in Congress have rallied their more conservative base and now have the votes to pass the bill as-is.

• Historically bi-partisan by nature, this year’s Farm Bill is more tenuous than in years past because of the country’s rapidly changing demographics.

• The Senate is expected to release its own version of a Farm Bill this June.

When the House Farm Bill failed to pass in a 198-213 vote last Friday, many food and farm advocates declared victory.

It’s easy to see why. Dozens of local and national food movement groups — and their members — had spent the weeks prior urging members of Congress to vote against the bill, which, with its cuts to conservation programs and dramatic changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program, they saw as antithetical to the work...

A deep dive into a much loved, under-appreciated regional cuisine with experts Meghan McCarron and Mando Rayo on the Eater Upsell

This week on the Eater Upsell, we delve into all the issues raised by writer Meghan McCarron’s March feature on Tex Mex cuisine. She appears on the show along with taco journalist Mando Rayo to discuss the origins of Tex Mex, why the cuisine doesn’t get the same respect as barbecue, the dual negative effects of Taco Bell and Mexican scholar Diana Kennedy on the cuisine, and what Tex Mex lovers can do to support mom and pops across Texas.

Listen on Apple Podcasts and subscribe.

Glenroy Brown, working across three kitchens, has some strong feelings about his Global knife

As a rising chef hopping between three different kitchens (all thankfully within a few Upper West Side blocks in New York City), Glenroy Brown has his kitchen staples that go with him everywhere.

The one tool he’s used throughout his career? The classic Chef’s Knife by Global, the Japanese knife company known for its sleek stainless steel design and dotted handles. He loves the knife so much, Brown says, he had it tattooed on his side. “It was a spur-of-the-moment type thing,” he says of the ink. He’s now had it for “six or seven years.”

Brown has his trusty knife on hand at Lucky Pickle Dumpling Co., the new fast-casual dumpling spot from owner Jacob Hadjigeorgis, as well as at nearby Jacob’s Pickles and Maison Pickle.

Not that you need to submit to a tattoo artist to show your commitment to fine knives, of course. Just buying one should do the trick.

Buy Global Classic 8" Chef's Knife, $99.95

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